Coral Cup Race Card

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race)

1st
Richard Condon

Heaven Help Us

Age: 7
Weight: 10.6
OR: 138
J:
 
Richard Condon
T:
 
Paul Hennessy
made all, shaken up and went clear after 2 out, ridden when jumped left and left clear 9 lengths ahead last, kept on final 110yds
2nd
Tom Cannon

Craigneiche

Age: 7
Weight: 10.7
OR: 139
J:
 
Tom Cannon
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
midfield, going easily when not fluent 3 out, shaken up and switched right before 2 out, bit short of room and not fluent 2 out, soon pushed along, headway when left in second 9 lengths down last, kept on, no match for winner
3rd
Jonathan Burke

Tea Clipper

Age: 6
Weight: 10.9
OR: 141
J:
 
Jonathan Burke
T:
 
Tom Lacey
prominent, not fluent 6th, ridden after 2 out, left in third last, soon slightly hampered, ridden and kept on final 110yds, made no impression
4th
B J Cooper

Sayo

Age: 7
Weight: 11.0
OR: 143
J:
 
B J Cooper
T:
 
W P Mullins
towards rear on outer, pushed along before 3 out, ridden and edged left after 2 out, soon outpaced, rallied last, ridden and kept on final 110yds, went fourth towards finish, nearest finish
5th
James Bowen

Janika

Age: 8
Weight: 11.1
OR: 145
J:
 
James Bowen
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
prominent on inner, ridden after 2 out, went fourth final 110yds, kept on but lost fourth towards finish

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Third race of ladies day

The Coral cup is the third race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival. It follows the two Grade One’s that open the card and is the first of the handicaps.

The race is run over 2 miles, 5 furlongs and there are 10 hurdles for the runners to tackle. The race is open to horses aged four and above and the handicap mark to get into the race differs each year.

The race, despite being a handicap, is a grade 1, with Grade 3 status and the winning connections collect £56,000 in prize money

History of the Coral Cup

The race is called the Coral Cup as it has always been sponsored by the bookmaker and there is no sign of that changing anytime soon.

The first running of this handicap hurdle was in 1993 and has featured at the festival ever since. It started out as just a handicap race however was promoted to Grade 3 status for the 1999 festival.

Martin Pipe won the inaugural running in 1993 with horse, Olympian and in turn received a £50,000 bonus having won the Imperial Cup at Sandown, the Saturday before and that race often delivers horses that then go straight to this, just days later.

Recent years

William Henry pipped Willie Mullins’ Wicklow Brave on the line to win the 2019 running foe Nicky Henderson and Nico De Boinville at huge odds 28/1.

It gave Henderson a third win in the race, which means he’s now won top alongside Martin Pipe for Coral Cup wins, the pairs three wins came with the following horses:

Martin Pipe:

Olympian (1993)

Big Strand (1997)

Ilnamar (2002)

Nicky Henderson

Spirit River (2010)

Whisper (2014)

William Henry (2019)

William Henry’s success also meant a second win in the race for Nico De Boinville who was also abroad Whisper in 2014. However, Davey Russell has been successful on three occasions which makes him the most successful jockey in the race. The Irishman has been successful on the following horses:

Davey Russell:
Naiad de Misselot (2008)

Carlito Brigante (2011)

Diamond King (2016)

The race is often a difficult handicap for punters to solve and that is shown by the prices of the winners. There has been no winning favourite in the last 10 renewals and the last four winners have all returned at 12/1 or bigger so it may be worth keeping an eye on the bigger priced horses and searching for extra value. A race like this will also see bookmakers pay extra places.

It would also be advised to pay close attention to any of Nicky Henderson’s runners, especially if they have the services of Nico De Boinville whilst an Irish challenger ridden by Davey Russell should also be subject to attention.

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